If you wonder what a key/value server is and why they are increasingly important, watch this video. It also provides insight into extreme-scale computing environments from the perspective of a brilliant engineer.
As a student who has just taken her first database course, I found the beginning of the video interesting where he runs through the distinctions between standard databases and key/value servers.
But the real punch of this video, IMHO, occurs near the end at 52’30” in response to an audience member’s question, where he gives the most amazing nutshell explanation about what the key/value server is doing relative to the traditional database approach and he describes how and why key/value storage is essential for extreme-scale computing such as web search engines.
This video provides a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of some of the mega-scale operations of the Internet that are utilized by millions of people every day.
The oligarchy-manipulated Big Media is running a story – a “headline” – the day before the primary election in California – that Hilary Clinton has won the primary. What an appalling outrage. It is spitting in the face of every Californian and pissing on American democracy. What could be more disrespectful to the millions of American voters in the state of California who will finally have their chance to go to the polls tomorrow to participate in this so-called democracy to be told, the day before the election, “Your vote doesn’t mean shit.”
Without the “superdelegates” – which are super-bullshit – Clinton hasn’t won anything. Tomorrow Bernie Sanders might win California. Big Media – the oligarchy – is putting this “story” out to derail tomorrows election.
Also, the overwhelmingly negative coverage of Donald Trump in the media continues. Even if you don’t like him, it is an absolute outrage the extent to which the oligarchy has attacked him for the past 9 months.
America’s political process is shit.
Tomorrow people are voting in California and one of the most important races is the primary for the junior US Senate position. Where has there been a race? Where has there been any dialog, position, or platform? Nothing but BS.
All I can say is that no one should vote for Kamala Harris who is a pro-illegal, pro-oligarchy scum.
I wonder how much ballot-stuffing has gone on to support Clinton. Then again, in the United States there are no election forensics or biometric voter registration to make sure that our elections are valid even though the technology to provide these things is minuscule to the technology for even mundane things like shopping and advertising.
Ok, so yesterday I had some extra time and was just browsing around in a Best Buy store as I sometimes like to do. With the pace of change in technology, even if I’m not actively looking to get something, I still like to see what all the latest stuff is and try things out.
So they had this Gear VR headset demo on the table with the Samsung phones and I tried it for the first time ever. OMFG! It is really amazing! If you’ve never tried a headset like the Gear VR before, I highly recommend that you do so. You won’t be disappointed!
Ok so the Gear VR is made by Oculus who also make the Rift headset which I haven’t tried yet but, given the ultra-high minimum hardware requirements to run it, I can only guess that its beyond mind-blowing.
Sadly, it looks like by the time I will be able to afford a laptop that meets the minimum hardware requirements to power the Rift, it will be many years from now. Also, Lenovo seems to only have one laptop that can handle it, and that model is not in their Thinkpad line and doesn’t have a Trackpoint so I would never get it. But one day I’m sure that there will be Thinkpad models with the power to support the Rift or whatever comes next. I am looking forward to that day!
In the meantime, a realistic goal over the next couple years will be to get one of the Samsung phone models which support the Gear VR and get the Gear VR headset because even that is amazing.
UPDATE: There is also another virtual reality headset that is out and receiving a lot of attention: the HTC Vive. In one review I read it got a higher rating than the Rift. But it also is very expensive.
One other thing I will mention is that these virtual reality headsets, as far as I can tell, are at the moment aimed for gaming. While it certainly is an amazing experience to just be in any type of virtual reality world, including a pure fantasy one such as with a game, think of the possibilities beyond gaming: Having meetings with people, flying around Earth and checking things out, walking through a library or some kind of VR reference space, being in some kind of VR control room, VR design or creative spaces.
I even thought of another idea: Imagine if you wanted to have some kind of dating app where you could actually meet and see what people fully look like in VR. But then, you might worry that someone could be using a fake body or a body that has been altered or enhanced. Perhaps there could be some type of way to verify each person’s identity in the same way that an ID card is created, where you would step naked into some kind of machine and it would take an accurate, 3-D scan of your body which would then be somehow digitally locked.
Perhaps there could be public booths where you could pay a few dollars and have your 3D VR body scan generated and output onto an SD card or USB flash drive.
Then you could take your “self” into your VR world and do things like change your wardrobe or your makeup, but would not be able to change your actual body which would be digitally locked.
Then if you met people in a VR meeting place you would know what they really look like and decide whether you’re interested in them or not.
Maybe you could even “get physical” with other people in VR spaces which might help people who are timid or shy. It might be therapeutic to be able to go into some place in VR and meet and touch people freely just to experience it.
This is part of my Simple One-Liners (SOL) series of useful commands. Today I would like to discuss an easy way, using the command line and the extremely powerful tool ffmpeg to extract the audio track from a YouTube or other video.
First, to actually get the video file from YouTube, I highly recommend the excellent Firefox add-on called Download YouTube Videos as MP4. You will find a number of add-ons available for Firefox which offer to enable you to download YouTube or other videos, however in my experience many of them are add-on spam which at the least try to upsell “features” and at worst may potentially be malicious. Download YouTube Videos as MP4 seems to be totally above-the-board however and is an Open Source project on GitHub.
There is a lot of music available on YouTube – in fact it kind of boggles the mind how much can be found there – but as you know each song is actually a video because that is YouTube’s format (even if the video consists of just one frame).
In order to extract the audio you need to get ffmpeg, the Windows version of which is available here. I recommend the 64-bit static version (use the 32 bit version if you are on a 32-bit system obviously).
I have a special way of setting up ffmpeg on my system. Once the .7z archive is downloaded, I put it in a subdirectory of my home called Apps. I don’t know if I mentioned before the role of the Apps directory in my Personal Information Logos directory schema, but it serves an important role. It is the directory in my home directory where I put what are called portable apps. For example there are a lot of useful little apps that run by themselves such as WinAeroTweaker, Flash Fullscreen Patcher, TCPView, Process Explorer, PatchMyPC, and others, which I put in there. Its highly convenient to keep all portable apps and utilities in there and also I can just copy the directory to any other machine where I want to have all the utilities available.
Then I link the ffmpeg binaries into my ~/bin directory. My Cygwin .bash_profile includes my ~/bin directory in my PATH environment variable. This is basic Unix stuff but essential to know about and extremely useful. All I do is: cd ~/bin
ln -s ../Apps/ffmpeg-20160531-git-a1953d4-win64-static/bin/ffmpeg.exe .
ln -s ../Apps/ffmpeg-20160531-git-a1953d4-win64-static/bin/ffplay.exe .
ln -s ../Apps/ffmpeg-20160531-git-a1953d4-win64-static/bin/ffproble.exe .
Now these commands will be available to me from the command line in any directory.
Once you have a video file downloaded, you can use ffprobe to check it out. Its a good idea to check the bitrate of the audio track inside the video file. Unfortunately most YouTube videos use relatively low bitrates for their audio tracks. Always download the highest resolution video available to ensure you also get the highest possible bitrate for the audio track.
To extract the audio track you just do: ffmpeg.exe -i file.mp4 -b 256 file.mp3
This example will encode with a bit rate of 256kbps which is usually higher than most audio tracks in YouTube videos are encoded at (check the output of ffprobe above if you want to be more exact).
This is not a complete guide. I plan to update it later with more information. But for now here is one general guideline for how I am voting and how I encourage everyone to vote.
Here is a basic synopsis of how to vote:
Nancy Pelosi:HELL NO! Barry Hermanson:YES! Von Hougo:YES! Kamala Harris:HELL NO! Hilary ClintonHELL NO! London Breed:HELL NO! Get her out! Regional District AA:YES. Maybe not what everyone thinks is perfect but I support all efforts to protect the bay and wetlands SF Prop B:NO SF Prop C:NO. No to “affordable” housing Affordable housing:NO! Assistance for the homeless:NO! Any candidate who supports either of these:NO! Any candidate who supports illegal immigration/”sanctuary” policies:NO! Jane Kim for State Senate:Yes!
Even though I do not agree with every vote Jane Kim has made and with every position she takes, I think she has good intentions and support her for state senator.
Affordable housing and homeless assistance: I am not voting for any measure that provides or increases “affordable” housing or that provides any form of assistance to the homeless (this does not mean rent-control or protections for existing tenants which I strongly support).
We already see how existing housing projects in our cities are abysmal failures. They are hotbeds of crime. They are a huge loss for communities which must dump enormous amounts of money into law enforcement and welfare. In return, communities are plagued by crime and violence. The bottom line is that the government should not be in the business of selectively providing any kind of assistance or welfare to any group. Ok, maybe I am in favor of food stamps. But beyond that, the result is always a disaster.
There are middle-class people who struggle to get by, and then there are people who win the “lottery” to live in subsidized housing. I think that’s fucked. Its completely unfair. Government should not be in the business of having lotteries and awarding housing to specific people. Instead, the market should take care of the situation naturally.
Also, all forms of assistance to the homeless in a city where even many full-time professionals cannot afford to live is just completely deluded. We are talking about people who have absolutely no realistic way in hell of ever being able to live in the city. Giving assistance to them is just giving them another hit of crack and prolonging an already bad situation. The city is already plagued with a huge amount of homelessness and vagrancy and outrageous levels of crime. Homeless people need to be OUT of the city.
The condition of the city is appalling. It is not safe to comport oneself outdoors anymore. It is completely insane to extend and exacerbate the problem by throwing away more money on assistance for the homeless, who need to find a place to live where they have a realistic chance of being able to afford the cost of living, particularly housing.
That said, perhaps one solution would be to build camps in the central valley designed to help homeless people acquire techniques for constructive living. That type of assistance would at least be realistic, and not prolong or exacerbate the huge crime problem the city is facing.
Finally, the homeless problem is severely exacerbated by the 30 million illegals who have flooded into the country, stealing precisely the types of jobs which help people struggling on the margins of society to get by and be able to sustain themselves.
I am all for legal immigration and I love multi cultural societies, but the flood of illegals pouring in is outrageous. The immigration system and border controls have basically completely failed, and then the situation is exacerbated by the most outrageous politicians who flagrantly support violating our country’s immigration laws.
No other developed nation in the world has immigration policies as insane as the United States. If people were to discuss implementing an immigration policy similar to what are considered the most liberal ones in Europe, there would be throngs of people screaming racism and calling it hatred. The debate around illegal immigration is severely distorted by the fact that it is one of the major agendas of the oligarchy to provide another hit of crack for “the economy”. Illegal immigration is a Koch Brothers and US Chamber of Commerce agenda. It is an agenda of the agribusiness giants who put family farms out of business. And its sickening to see politicians who support illegal immigration and claiming that it is humanitarian, while American citizens suffer and bleed.
Before, it was so different. People could come here and live. You didn’t have to be wealthy. You didn’t have to be working professionally. You could just come. And make it. And the city was supposed to offer some promise. If you wanted education you could pursue it. If you wanted jobs you could find them. If you wanted to explore you could explore. You could connect. You could disconnect.
But it has all changed. It has become so much worse. So much harsher. So much less hospitable. So crazy and fucked up. So dirty and disgusting.
The city has failed and I think those responsible for overseeing its failure bear the burden of a grave sin, not just of the actual damage, but everything that was lost about what this city should have represented, what it should have been.
There are not a lot of places like the way this city was. I wonder if there are any others, or if there ever will be. Something was lost much more than the actual city, some important part of the soul of not just the country but the entire world. Those who let it happen bear a grave sin. Out of their greed, incompetence, or whatever they not only damaged the city, they damaged the world. They damaged life on Earth. They damaged the human spirit.
The city was on a downward course even before. I think people noticed. I did. But how far its gone, its kind of a shock.
I guess I’m just rambling now but there are so many fucked up things. I read about the huge mass of waste left behind by the Oregon State University frat idiots. How appalling. How seriously fucked up. Something is truly wrong with America.
The other evening as I was walking around the block where I live I took some pics of all the trash. Its like people are just inured to it: To there just being trash and shit everywhere. But you know its totally fucked up. There should not be trash anywhere. People shouldn’t just throw shit anywhere. Something is extremely off.
Then there’s all the violence. Every day killings in the news. A headless torso that had been rotting for a month discovered by the water. Shootings on freeways. Shooting at a high school. Other murders. Crazy shit.
I was watching what is now one of my favorite all-time documentaries called “What We Still Don’t Know”, a three-part series that is so good. I love just the audio of it. It is so vastly better than the American-made shit from “History” Channel, National Geographic, Discovery Channel. Their documentaries are shit. I could go on about why so many aspects of them are crass and insulting. But I’ll leave it at that for now. “What We Still Don’t Know” is a British documentary and the pace of it is Zen-like.
In it they were discussing how the value of the Cosmological Constant is unlike other constant values in nature. For example, there is the value of gravity which, if it were slightly greater or lesser than what it actually is, our universe as we know it would not have formed. The same is true for the other values corresponding to different fundamental forces.
One scientist states that with all these values the range is around 1% or so, meaning if they were tweaked around 1 % higher or lower, then everything would not have come out “right”, i.e. as the universe we are in which has enabled life.
But then there is the Cosmological Constant which just blows everything else away. It has to be exact to a precision of – I actually can’t remember the exact amount, but its something like one in a trillion-trillion. An unimaginably precise number. There’s just no way that that value could be arbitrary or random.
The way they explained how this could be is that our universe is just one very small part of a multiverse which consists of a mind-bogglingly huge number of universes, all which could have different values for the fundamental constants.
This made me think that perhaps there could be a process in the multiverse which, over vast scales of time, selects for certain values of the constants. That would imply there being some kind of feedback. Something must happen for certain universes with certain values to be “preferred” over others. I just wondered about this and thought maybe it could be. That over vast extents of time the multiverse itself could somehow be evolving so that each successive universe it spawns is more finely tuned. And perhaps, somehow, it learns from each universe.
In short, perhaps the mutliverse is like a sentient meta-being that itself is evolving. We only think of evolving in our own, selfish way, from our own, selfish, animalistic points of view. But perhaps one aspect of God-consciousness is letting go of this animalistic point of view and accepting that our evolution is part of the grander evolution of the multiverse.
I was just watching a video from the brilliant “Reality Calls” where she is discussing fundamental spiritual concepts or principles. She considers the fact that consciousness exists to be a primal aspect of existence. Taking this idea further, again if we can let go of our selfish, animalistic point of view (I’m not saying this about her but about how the human mind typically think about most things including consciousness) then there could easily be transcendent consciousness that goes beyond what the human mind is capable of imagining, beyond the limitations of the physical body. This seems not just quite plausible, but highly probable. In fact, I simply cannot imagine how there could not be such “higher” consciousness because it is inconceivable to me that “our” consciousness could have come from nothing. Whether it came from the quantum organization of rays of sunlight interacting with atoms on Earth or what, the source of our consciousness had to come from somewhere.
What is the connection with what is happening now, this vast sickness affecting things? I don’t know yet. But earlier I was out walking and thinking and I thought of this: Today humans have reached an apex of technological achievement one facet of which is the utilization (stripping) of resources from Earth on an unimaginably vast scale so that even an average person today has at their disposal, at their whim resources which would have been unimaginable to even the wealthiest kings of antiquity.
And, thus, it makes me think: Are humans therefore that much the greater for it?
The answer is: Hell fucking no. Humans are not only not that much greater, in proportion to the vastly greater amount of resources that they consume through all the vast technology deployed for their benefit, they are stupider. They are more selfish. More vile.
There is a dark side to things. A demonic side which has to be taken seriously. We cannot be blind to it, nor can we just think that its something arbitrary. This dark side is not the same as chaos or entropy. Rather, it is demonic. It is perhaps related to the reptilian brain and social dynamics which play out through various media within “culture”. Somehow this shit gets transmitted, it mutates, and it quite effectively replicates, poisoning whole societies, whole generations.
Someone should really study this and understand it. What the hell is happening?
I guess I could write about certain things. But they are only certain observations I have, certain things I’ve gathered over the course of time from observing and interacting. But I don’t know if I could get even remotely close to painting a complete picture.
I have ideas. They are inspired by – I don’t know what to call it even – comparative culturalism (maybe it should be called comparative culturology). I find it interesting that Wife With a Purpose also mentions that in some of her videos.
There’s another key word that has been coming up lately: Civility. Not the pedestrian meaning of the word civility, but then there is the fully-loaded meaning which connects with the word civilization which is what I’m thinking about. I have been thinking about what civility means – especially in a broken society such as this – given the lack of civilization.
When people meet each other in society, there is said to be an element of civility between them. But what if the civilization they are in is broken? Where is the civility then? Or is it just pretense?
How long do people go on under such pretense before it all collapses? Again, I’m not thinking of the pedestrian meaning of civility, but rather the meaning of civility in the full sense of a bearing of civilization.
There is this idea of civil society. But what becomes of civility when civilization fails? What do people bear if they no longer bear civilization? I think its like a delusion or a joke.
People may actually be quite offended by this, but then in the end the joke is on them. Or maybe its their blood that is spilled, which is not so funny. But how long does it take for civilized people to wake up? How much blood does it take? Has science or “human knowledge” set a limit, a threshold value for that?
This story is actively being blocked out from the media. The oligarchy is in action again. You can witness it right now – by the story’s absence. It was given initial widespread exposure, because there was simply no way for Big Media not to, but only after a couple days it has disappeared from the news which is an absolute outrage given its severity.
This story is huge news. The Secretary of State of the United States was found by the Inspector General of her own department to have extremely violated rules. She went against the rules by using a personal e-mail server in her house instead of the State Department’s. Think of this. If any CEO of a company did this it would be terrible. But for the Secretary of State to do it – it breaks laws.
Not only that, her IT staff were told to drop the issue. She also failed to properly inform the State Department what she was doing. Nor did she inform them as required about possible security threats. She violated multiple rules which are very serious.
Then she lied – extensively, repeatedly – about it.
And – get this – when the Inspector General was investigating, they requested and received interviews with numerous former Secretaries of State and some key staff – except – except Clinton and her staff. Clinton refused to speak with the Inspector General investigating the issue. That is an outrage.
Of course, if Donald Trump had moved his little pinky, it would be in the news for days and days – in the headlines – without end. If someone else had moved their little pinky, the oligarchy-controlled press would still make a huge issue out of it, tie it to Donald Trump, and it would run in the news endlessly for days.
The Democratic presidential front-runner has repeatedly lied for more than a year, has violated policies and the law, and acted highly irresponsibly. She is absolutely unfit for any office, much less for President of the United States.
Obama – the President of the United States – the person who is supposed to hold the ultimate responsibility for the actions of the federal government – simply refuses to discuss the issue of his Secretary of State’s having breached policy, the law, and having lied.
Wow. Just look at the oligarchy convulsing and contorting in the most sickening ways.
Clearly their playbook is to never give an inch – right? – which is the Clinton playbook going back to 1992 and its worked for them in the past – right? – they just grind their way through it. But I always have looked at this – its sort of, what is it? – Occam’s Razor: what’s the most logical sort of explanation – and the most logical explanation is she wanted to make it harder for the press and Congress to see her correspondence.
So they made FOIA requests more difficult by doing what? Making sure it wasn’t on a government server, putting it on a private server. And that’s the part of this – the idea of convenience – I’ve never been able to accept that because, what’s convenient about having a sever in your house?
— Chuck Todd, NBC political reporter
Here’s some more mega-lying if you want to see it:
In particular, my intuition is that the ranking for “safety” in the listings linked above is the one that would correlate the closest with self-inflicted brain damage.
By self-inflicted brain damage I am of course speaking on the theme of several of my posts recently: That of a society’s inflicting of brain-damage upon itself.
This inflicting of brain damage is perpetrated by certain individuals within the society, and is tolerated and allowed to happen by others.
There may be varying explanations for what lies behind the self-infliction of brain damage with societies, but I find Carl Sagan’s explanation of the destruction of the great Library of Alexandria to be very telling. To point:
Slavery – he mentions that slavery – described as a “cancer” of the ancient world, was one factor. Today what we have in America, the deliberate flooding into the country of 30 million illiterate, uneducated immigrants for the sake of providing cheap labor to the oligarchy in what amounts to a hit of crack for “the economy” – at the expense of the infliction of serious brain damage – not to mention ecological, intellectual, infrastructural, and other damage. America was steeped in slavery from early on, and the country has never and probably will never recover from it.
Following authority unquestioningly – I didn’t quote this in the previous post, but he mentions it as a serious danger threatening the survival of the human species. Its not just that, its that people follow along with each other in a kind of herd way of operating that is extremely destructive. There is a race to the lowest-common-denominator as evolution has basically failed in a massive way.
Corrupt, greedy, and ignorant leaders. He also mentions this as a serious threat to the survival of humanity. But I will just say that its not like its just an either-or thing on a big scale – every day in our broken communities the survival of humanity fails. The failure of human society takes place every day in a thousand small ways. Every time a person is exposed to brain-damaging violation committed by people in deliberate acts against communities, it is a failure of society and a failure of the human species. By the time it reaches a point of such extremity that there is a mass cry for change, it is far too late.
If you could look back from say 500 or 1,000 years in the future, I believe the path of humanity would be much clearer than what people see today. Today people are ridiculously muddled and confused. They cannot see history. They cannot see the place of their current society and their communities in the makeup of a historical progression which is going to go somewhere.
But if someone were able to look from a perspective many, many years in the future it would be clearer.
The problem with the human species right now – the problem threatening its survival to the very core – is a failure to evolve. The other problems occurring, gravely serious as they may be, are only offshoots of this one problem. Humans’ failing on a massive scale to evolve is the fundamental problem threatening not only the future of the human species but indeed of life on Earth itself. The devolution that is currently taking place with the human species is masked by what appears to be an increase in human awareness as the result the spread of information through mass media and the Internet.
Yet humans aren’t waking up to the problem, the failure of their evolution. They are living in delusion so severe that their world is literally collapsing around them and its like they don’t see it.
Evolving is not a feel-good type of thing. Its not something that happens because anyone thinks they are right, that their ideas are worthy or good. Evolution is something that has to be enacted. It has to be earned. It has to be created and actively shaped by humans. It requires power and strength.
It is supremely arrogant to think that just because a person or a collective entity ascribes to some ideal that they therefore can just sit back and do nothing to actually enact what is necessary to create a better destiny. That is a huge flaw that afflicts especially western peoples, people who have lived through the time of things like the “civil rights” movement, anti-war movements, etc. The price to be paid for such supreme arrogance is disaster on a vast scale when the failure to actually enact, to attain the realization of a different reality is manifest.
That’s not to say that evolution doesn’t involve things like inspiration, joy, laughter, etc. Those things are important and also essential. But without power, without active will, without discipline – without the yoking which is the same as the word “yoga” – humans will not evolve but devolve, as we are now witnessing in this time of great catastrophe.
Evolution will not occur by people sitting back in arrogance and self-righteousness, thinking their concepts are the best, while they utterly fail to take action to actually direct the course of their society in an intentional, conscious manner. And it certainly won’t occur by the actions steeped in extensive delusions about “values” that are devoid of actual wisdom which only serve to reinforce arrogance and delusion while accomplishing destruction.
Once again we have self-inflicted brain-damage occurring in our society, led by disgustingly inept, ignorant, corrupt, and greedy politicians, a government that is an oligarchy, and a fucked-up society driven by the lowest-common-denominator effect that sinks ever lower.
See 32’08” in the video below, then go back and watch the entire episode:
The Alexandria of Hypatia’s time, by then long under Roman rule, was a city in grave conflict. Slavery, the cancer of the ancient world, had sapped classical civilization of its vitality. The growing Christian church was consolidating its power and attempting to eradicate pagan influence and culture.
Today just reverse the terms Christianity and paganism.
Its as if an entire civilization had undergone a sort of self-inflicted radical brain surgery, so that most of its memories, discoveries, ideas, and passions were irrevocably wiped out.
History is full of people who, out of fear or ignorance or the lust for power have destroyed treasures of immeasurable value which belong to all of us. We must not let it happen again.
In our sick communities where the gross, disgusting fucks run rampant inflicting brain damage upon entire communities, it is a burning of the Library of Alexandria every single day.